I’ve known Karl since the beginning of high school. He’s always been pretty passionate about music. He doesn’t really deal much in the way of profundity in everyday conversation (though shockingly we continue to hang out with him), so this article about his musical project Phantomb that he’s written has really blown us all away. The song which is contained within the article is entitled Where’s The Flashlight? I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did, and please do check the rest of Karl’s work out at his Soundcloud page. Strewn about the place as if hurled there by a tornado are photographs of Karl a.k.a Phantomb.
Phantomb is my dark secret and my best friend. Many people I know wouldn’t understand it if they listened to it, even though it is a honest copy of myself, and so truly don’t understand me. The people who do listen, and do understand are few and far between but this has not stopped me from trying to reach out to others who may be like me, stuck in a place where ‘normal’ and ‘nice’ are words that are sat upon like fat kings of old, and are trying to save themselves from the most likely of fates: a mediocre life. What does this have to do with my music? Everything and nothing. At the same time it’s my honest interpretation of what’s inside me; fear, love, random dub-step wobble riffs, my predictions for the future and attempts at recreating the sounds of my favourite artists. On the flip side it’s just mostly some drum patterns with sounds (more like noises) and failed realisations of what’s in my head. This doesn’t mean I don’t love doing it, and I enjoy the thought of many more years of people adding me on Sound Cloud and then un-adding me once they finally listen to my music!
Onto the song: Where’s the Flashlight? is one of my favourite songs that I’ve created since embarking on this quest to create music. The lonely piano, the grainy strings, that bass that I love so much, it encapsulates so much of what is in my mind, and yet reveals a lot that I don’t truly understand myself. For creating art (and yes, I’ll stand by that!) is one of the only true ways to explore what lurks about in that misty swamp you call your being.
The song was my attempt at creating, of all things, something that sounded like Burzum’s ambient work. People unfamiliar with him and the two albums; Dauði Baldrs and Hliðskjálf, need only know that his minimalistic and hypnotic ambient folk music is something completely different to this song. I grew bored with the repeating patterns I created and decided instead to keep the piano and strings but try to merge my love of dubstep/DnB with these musical ideas I currently had. The end product? What sounds like a piano player and his string backing band playing next door to a Bristol Night Club. My last thing I say to you about my music is simply this: It’s me. I haven’t composed this for some ludicrous shot at becoming some famous electronica artist, or to be the next Aphex Twin. I made it because if I don’t then I’m going to kick myself pretty fucking hard in twenty years down the line when I realised that there was nothing stopping me from doing what I want to do. Fuck everyone else. Fuck critics and fuck people who don’t want to understand. But don’t fuck it for yourself.
Out of here.
Words by Karl Thayer and Ryan Boyd
Photographs by Daniel Grant
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